David Larsen

Ph.D., MPH
Associate Professor

David Larsen holds a Ph.D. and MPH from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical medicine. He is an environmental epidemiologist with expertise in large data analysis, multi-level modeling, spatial statistics, geographic information systems, and study design. His content expertise lies broadly in global health, with specific expertise in mosquito borne illnesses, mhealth, and sanitation. See more of David’s profile.


Ph.D. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, LA, 2013

MPH School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, LA, 2013

B.S. Psychology, Brigham Young University, UT, 2007


Global health, Child survival, Infectious disease epidemiology and malaria

Research Focus

Dr. Larsen’s research is focused in these areas:

  1. Control and epidemiology of mosquito-borne illnesses
  2. Use of spatial methods to describe factors affecting health
  3. Global health

Research Projects

Global Health Research Lab

The global health research lab is an opportunity for students to learn data analysis skills while examining factors affecting maternal and child health in lower income countries. Examples of projects undertaken by students include an assessment of spray coverage achieved by malaria control programs, how sanitation access affects maternal and child health, and how conflict affects health access.

Control Zika and Dengue-transmitting Mosquitos

Zika virus is one of the many diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito; others include dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya. Without effective interventions to control the mosquito these diseases are endemic in areas with Ae. aegypti habitat. We have developed novel control devices for the Ae. aegypti and are testing the impact that they have on the mosquito population in Ecuador. Dr. David Larsen is the primary investigator.

Eliminate Malaria

Malaria control consists of killing mosquitos and providing medicine to treat or prevent parasite infections. We are aiming to accelerate toward malaria eradication by better understanding intervention delivery and impact. Our malaria research projects consist of improving the delivery of indoor residual spray by using real-time mapping and targeting based upon risk maps of mosquito habitat; understanding the interplay between food security, malaria control with insecticide treated mosquito nets, and fishing; and developing novel case investigation strategies to interrupt malaria transmission in areas pursuing elimination. Dr. David Larsen is the primary investigator.

End Open Defecation

Approximately one billion people throughout the world have no access to toilets or latrines. Without access to sanitation facilities, open defecation facilitates transmission of fecal-oral pathogens such as diarrheal disease and intestinal parasites. These pathogens kill more than 1.5 million children worldwide annually, and cause developmental and cognitive delays in children who survive. This research projects highlights the impact of open defecation on maternal and child health and the impact that various interventions have on sanitation access. Dr. David Larsen is the primary investigator.

Understanding the Impact of Community Violence from Public Health Perspectives

While violent crime has decreased in many cities in America, gang-related violence remains a serious problem in impoverished inner city neighborhoods. Our research encompasses several ongoing projects that examine the impact of violence, the effectiveness of a trauma response intervention, the association between community violence and academic performance and the effects of unaddressed trauma on development of addictions – namely “street addiction.” This project includes collaboration with Dr. Sandra Lane, Dr. Dessa Bergen-Cico , Dr. David Larsen, Dr. Linda Stone Fish, and Dr. Robert Rubinstein. Falk faculty have partnered with Timothy (Noble) Jennings-Bey, CEO of Street Addiction Institute, Inc. to conduct this research.

Statistical Expertise

Large data analysis, multi-level modeling, spatial statistics, geographic information systems, and study design